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Re: RE: RE: RE: starship-design: Pellet track

In a message dated 8/23/97 12:20:29 AM, lparker@cacaphony.net (L. Parker)

>> All forms of magnetic confinement/compression have been beating 
>> blood trying to make it work.  So mucg time and money spent with so 
>> results makes me cynical.
>I understand and agree to some extent with your cynicism, but it seems to 
>me that relativistic velocities would help rather than hinder such an 
>engine. After all, you are getting what amounts to inertial confinement for 
>free and even the commercial companies agree (at the moment) that inertial 
>confinement works best.

NOt really.  The speed the fuels flowing through a scoop engine makes it
almost impossible to do anything to it before it blasts past the ship.  Doing
something organized is much harder.  Also anything you do will have to be
violent and crude to be done fast enough.  

Sort of like lighting a match in a huricane wind.  But in this case we need
to hold up a funnel the size of a county to focus the wind down to the area
of the match.